Introduction

JM ren't you lucky! You're entering or are already part of the most popular W • and rewarding lifelong hobby that exists — worldwide. Gardening is a common language that knows no national, socioeconomic, or age boundaries. It's a common thread that binds all of us together. Whether you're discussing your outrageous zucchini harvest of the previous year or sharing your secret tips for prizewinning roses, you've probably found that gardeners have an instant bond, no matter what their level of experience.

Because gardening is a huge topic that encompasses a wide field of cultivation interests and disciplines, it's impossible for any one book to cover everything there is to know about gardening. However, when you're armed with the gardening basics, like those presented in this book, you're ready for just about anything that the art of gardening can throw at you.

Sure, gardening requires some exertion. But it's healthy exercise. It makes you feel a great sense of accomplishment when the flowerbeds are weeded, the bulbs are planted, and the seeds are sown. It's primal. And reaping the rewards of your labor — by cutting flowers for your dinner party or fresh herbs for your salad — is a special joy that makes the noisy, electronic stimulation that surrounds us (cars, phones, MP3 players, and the like) seem trivial. Gardening fosters a deep satisfaction that nurtures your body and soul. That's why this book, Gardening Basics For Dummies, exists. In addition to giving you basic pointers on how to make your gardening as successful and rewarding as possible, it's a celebration of the art and sheer joy of gardening.

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